Throughout the year beginning in January and ending in December, you can participate in several different races ... And even the kids and dogs can join in for some of them! In addition, to help you train, the Estes Park Running Club sponsors a free 5K weekly community run every Tuesday evening, starting at the Stanley Hotel. Warm up and registration is at 5:30 pm, and the run begins at 6 pm. The Estes Park Running Club is a non-profit, 501c(4) organization which provides fundraising for local youth programs.
*picture provided by the Estes Park Marathon & Half Marathon races
Here are the confirmed races so far for 2017:
- January 29th is the Frost Giant 5K & 10K is organized by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District website. It is a fundraiser for their youth programs.
- May 6th is the Duck Waddle 5K. This 5K race is part of the Duck Race Festival, which is a fundraiser for local non-profit organizations in the area. The Estes Park Running Club organizes the foot race and is one of the non-profit organizations that will be a benefactor for the Duck Race.
- June 10th is the Elkhorn Dash Fun Run - a one miler. This is a pre-race for the Estes Park Marathon and Half Marathon weekend. This one-miler is a sprint down main street, Elkhorn Avenue. All abilities and friendly dogs are welcome!
- June 17-18th is the 14th annual Estes Park Marathon & Half Marathon, recommended by RUNNER'S WORLD magazine as a must do! Saturday is the KIDS, KIDS, KIDS: RUN, BIKE, FUN! festival at Bond Park. On the Sunday, the 18th, is a race distance for the entire family - 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, or 5-person Marathon Relay (fundraiser for American Cancer Society). Courses follow boundary line of Rocky Mountain National Park and voted most scenic by Colorado Runner. Organized by the Estes Park Running Club.
- August 12th is the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon. On Friday, the 11th, there will be a 5K & 5K Fun Run race. This race is organized by Vacation Races. For more information and to register, go to the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon website. The course does not go into RMNP. It closely mimics the established Estes Park Half Marathon course, instead.
- November 23rd is the Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk. This will be the YMCA's 10th annual Turkey Trot. They accept a free will donation which will support their summer day camp scholarship program. Dogs are welcome but must be on a six-foot leash at all times.
*picture provided by the Estes Park Marathon & Half Marathon races
Some other races that have happened in the past but which do not yet have dates specified for 2017 are the following:
- Usually on Labor Day weekend there is the Fall Classic Marathon which is a marathon that starts at the Estes Park Visitor Center and ends at the Fountains in Loveland. There is also a half marathon which goes from Estes Park to Drake. There is also a 10K, however it does not start in Estes Park. For more information and to register, go the the Loveland Marathon website.
- There is the Running of the Bulls towards the latter half of September, a 3.75 mile run/walk around Lake Estes. The proceeds benefit Partners Mentoring Youth. This race is a dog-friendly, stroller-friendly race and they also offer a FREE one-mile kids' fun run. Registration will open in July.
- The Annual Estes Park Trail Ascent Trail Running Conference which usually happens towards the end of September or early October and culminates with the Estes Trail Ascent Race. The race distance is just under 6 miles and has an elevation gain of 1,877' over that distance (it starts at 8,500' and the highest point of the race is at 9,085'). For more information and to register go to the Estes Park Marathon page.
- Usually around the Elk Fest (end of September) is the Rut Run 5K. It is a fun and scenic race that features the fall season in Estes Park, CO. Organized by the Estes Park Running Club.
- And finally in early December is the Dasher 5K Fun Run. Get out your best holiday outfit and come out for some fun! If the kids can't do the 5K, prior to the 5K there is a 400 meter dash just for them! This race is organized by the Estes Park Running Club.
Exciting news to start off with ... US 34 Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland to Estes Park will be opened for all motorists from 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 22nd through 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 27th, and from 4 p.m. on Friday, December 30th through 7 p.m. on Monday, January 2nd, 2017!
Now that getting to Estes Park is even easier over the holidays, here is a list of what you can do when you're there!
On December 24th, celebrate Christmas Eve at the Twin Owl's Steakhouse located in the Black Canyon Inn. From 4 pm to 8 pm. Reservations are highly recommended at 970-586-9344.
The View Restaurant at the Historic Crags Lodge is offering a special Christmas Eve and Christmas day dinner. They will be opened both days from 5pm - 8pm, serving a 3-course Prefix Menu for $32.00/person and our normal dinner menu both evenings. Please call for reservation at 970-586-1087
Brunch at The Stanley Hotel with a traditional Christmas Dinner Buffet served in the MacGregor Ballroom between 11 am and 4 pm. Reservations are required at 970-577-4001. Adults - $68/person + tax + gratuity, Kids ages 5-12 - $26/person + tax + gratuity, and kids ages under 5 are free.
Dinner To-Go from the YMCA of the Rockies. You can pick up a pre-made traditional Christmas dinner (with either pumpkin or pecan pie) for eight people to enjoy in the location of your choosing. It will be available for everyone, whether you are a guest or not. Reservations are required by December 22nd at 4 pm - contact Chris Sheehan at the YMCA by email - email@example.com The dinner for eight people costs $125 plus taxes and gratuities, and you will be able to pick it up between 1 pm and 6 pm on the 25th. Chris will confirm the exact time to pick up at the Aspen Dining Hall near the Reception area.
New Year's Eve:
December 30th, celebrate the coming New Year with a Glowstick Party at the Estes Park Aquatic Center. 4 pm to 7 pm
New Year's Eve Family Dance at the YMCA of the Rockies. Watch the ball drop at 10:00 pm, enjoy a DJ and indulge in snacks and drinks at the Longhouse. 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm.
Chain Station New Year's Eve Bash at the Rock Inn Mountain Tavern featuring the popular local band starting at 10:00 pm and last until 1:00 am. No reservations taken, however you can call ahead when you're on your way. $5 cover charge. There will be some special New Year's Eve dinner items available as well as the regular menu.
New Year's Eve Dinner Dance with The Friday Niters Dance Club. Please go to their website for more information and to reserve. Reservations must be made by Dec. 27th. The Rodeway Inn. 7 pm to 12:30 am
New Year's Eve with Tahosa with a DJ after the band. Free champagne toast at midnight! Lonigans. 8:30 pm to 12:00 am
New Year's Eve 2016 Crystal Ball - ring in the new year at The Stanley Hotel in the MacGregor Ballroom. Starts at 9:00 pm and lasts until 1:00 am. $99/person + tax + gratuity. The tickets include the Jonny Mogambo Live Band, drink tickets, hors d'oeuvres, a midnight champagne toast, and a souvenir Crystal Ball champagne flute. All attendees must be 21 or older. Reservations required at (970) 577-4111. Optional dinner option available at Cascade. Cocktail attire is requested.